LONDON– Erco was crowned winner of the first Great British Light Off at LuxLive on Wednesday, beating the team from Arup in the final round after defeating Light IQ and Artistic License in the semi-finals.
‘It feels fantastic, we’re really surprised to have won,’ said Richard Taylor of Erco, who as captain of the Erco team had to battle it out against Light IQ’s Althea de Ste Croix on stage in the semi-finals.
‘The hardest part was being blindfolded in front of the crowd, fumbling around to guess what object was in front of me,’ he added – and no one can blame him, having had to identify a fire hood for a downlight, a light-up reindeer and a Lux Award trophy – all while blindfolded.
The final challenge saw four mime artists enter the stage in elaborate costumes, each acting out a silent expression of their lighting-related job. The two finalists, Team Erco and Team Arup, had to guess the mime artists’ real job. In disguise as a mad scientist, Mark Salt from the LIA Lab put a lamp to the test by trying to smash it with a hammer, while Lux’s technical editor, Alan Tulla, flummoxed the audience pretending to type on a keyboard wearing a diving costume.
Recolight’s much-loved mascot, Bertie Bulb, introduced his new girlfriend Lucy LED to the stage, miming the art of making lamps disappear and revealing a sweaty Nigel Harvey underneath. Finally, Annie Rawlinson of NJO LEDs enacted a day in the life of a lighting manufacturer, dressed in a bear costume.
The Light Off started off with a total of 14 teams attempting such taxing tasks as guessing the light output of a Nanoleaf LED lamp, a Pygmy CFL and a G9 LED lamp, and identifying the designers of classic luminaires and lighting schemes such as the Broken Light scheme in Rotterdam by Rudolf Teunissen and the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi by Speirs + Major.
The competing teams were also challenged with more cryptic tasks, such as spotting the odd one out of the four celebrities Vanilla Ice, Kylie Minogue, Martha Stewart and Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen – the odd one out was Kylie Minogue, the only celebrity who doesn’t have her own lighting range.
Crowned as the winners of the Great British Light Off, Team Erco won a bespoke piece of neon artwork by Love Neon. Grinning with drinks in hand, the team said: ‘We hope we’ll stay friends with Arup after this.’